Study Guide

Freak the Mighty Introduction

By Rodman Philbrick

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Freak the Mighty Introduction

Grab your suit of armor—it's time to get your quest on. We're diving head first into Freak the Mighty, and this book has it all: robots, damsels in distress, love, death, murder, pain, and even silly wordplay.

Mostly, though it's about two teenage boys with some serious imaginations.

The author, Rodman Philbrick, knew he wanted to be a writer way back in the sixth grade. But it took him a long time to write something people actually wanted to publish. And we mean a long time—like 10 novels worth of writing. With Freak the Mighty, he finally found the winning combination of Max and Kevin, an odd couple who shows us the power of friendship.

Before hitting it big with the YA crowd, Philbrick wrote detective novels, which might explain the seriously spooky vibe that runs through Freak the Mighty. This might be a book for young adults, but it's definitely not for the faint of heart.

Published way back in 1993, you'll notice that some of the references are a bit outdated. Um, computers are so 20th century. But in Shmoop's humble opinion, this one gets better with age—and it's just as relevant now as ever. So suit up and get ready for a real adventure.

What is Freak the Mighty About and Why Should I Care?

One word: friendship.

Max and Freak both have it rough. No matter how awkward your teenage years are, you'd be hard pressed to have it as bad as these two do. And trust us—we here at Shmoop have our fair share of awkward prom pictures buried in the closet.

But these two support each other through and through and become stronger by being together. They pull out the best in each other and reveal the true person underneath all that teenage awkwardness. Together, they're not just a nine-foot-tall, quest-loving, dragon-slaying knight—they're also just plain happy.

Freak the Mighty Resources


The Man Himself
If you want good info, go straight to the source. This is the author's own webpage.

Freak's Condition
Take some time to peruse this website dedicated to Morquio syndrome, the condition Freak has in Freak the Mighty.

Crossword Puzzle + Freak's Dictionary = Hours of Fun
Think you're a vocabulary wiz like Freak? Try your luck at this crossword puzzle based on Freak's dictionary.

Can't Get Enough of Max?
Freak the Mighty isn't the end. Philbrick wrote a sequel called Max the Mighty. It's well worth the read.

Movie or TV Productions

The Mighty
This adaptation was nominated for two Golden Globes—not too shabby.

Articles and Interviews

Just Who is Rodman Philbrick?
This interview with the author reveals some juicy deets about the man and his writing process.

Philbrick's Top Ten
Have a burning question for Rodman Philbrick? Chances are someone else had the same question. Here he answers a handful of them.


Getting Started
In this interview, Philbrick talks about when and why he started writing. Boy are we glad he did.

If You Liked Freak the Mighty…
Check out Philbrick's thoughts on another book he wrote, The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg.


The Mighty
What do you think? Does the movie poster do the book justice?

Other Covers
Which is your favorite book cover? We like this one.

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